From Writing Emails to Meeting Officials: the Life of a Liaison Officer

By | August 31, 2017 at 8:00 am | European Bodies | Tags: , , , ,

YFJ, UNDP or BEST: you have heard of these organisations but don’t really know what they stand for or you wonder what they have in common? They all cooperate closely with AEGEE and are only a few of AEGEE´s external partners. AEGEE has many European Bodies and among them is the Liaison Office. At the moment there are 13 Liaison Officers in total representing AEGEE towards various international organisations. Their task is to maintain a close link by communicating regularly, creating new ideas for a cooperation, and by actively contributing to promoting AEGEE externally.

 

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Since October last year I am Liaison Officer towards the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and I learnt more about the organisation, how it works, and what they actually do. The OSCE is the world’s largest security organisation and works on a broad spectrum of topics, such as international security, democratisation, transparency, human rights and fair elections. 57 countries from Europe, North America and northern as well as central Asia participate in the organisation. The OSCE’s commitment to promote the inclusion of youth in its peace and security agenda always played a crucial role in its work. Therefore, the OSCE is an important partner and gives us a platform to promote youth rights and youth participation, since it acknowledges the potential of young people to contribute to political, economic and social development and puts an emphasis on youth protection as well as on promoting youth participation in areas such as intercultural and interreligious dialogue, education, tolerance and non-discrimination and political participation.

While the description of the Liaison Officers’ work above seems quite broad, you might wonder what we do exactly. In order to keep in contact with the OSCE, I mostly write e-mails with our contact person to find out about events, interesting cooperation ideas, or what else is going on. After I have received new information, my tasks include informing AEGEEans about the work of the organisation and possibilities they can get involved in, e.g. interesting events for members or possible cooperations between locals or European Bodies and the OSCE, coordinating my actions with the CD, and getting involved.

Over the months many different opportunities occur for AEGEEans all over Europe, such as the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) that the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) organises every autumn. The HDIM is Europe’s largest human rights conference with civil society representatives, government officials and human rights activists. The HDIM is taking place in September this year and AEGEE is sending a small delegation to take part at the event from the 12th to the 14th of September. During the HDIM you will take part at various workshops on fundamental freedoms, democracy and democratic elections, equal participation in public and political life, and on tolerance and non-discrimination. So, during these sessions you will learn more about human rights issues and methods used by the governments, international organisations, or civil society groups to tackle them. Besides, you will have the chance to talk to official representatives from various nations, take part to a one-on-one meeting between AEGEE and OSCE representatives, and visit the beautiful city of Warsaw.

You still have the chance to join us at the HDIM. So if you are interested, you can find out more here: http://www.osce.org/odihr/hdim_2017 or just apply until the 3rd of September via this link: https://goo.gl/forms/gHO2HP2KyKepRTvh2.

 

Theresa Leppert, AEGEE-Passau and Liaison Officer towards the OSCE


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